Photo: "Gates of the Valley" by Kevin Lau, Flickr user mischiru. See the original here.
CRS Comments on the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides
In October 2010 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released proposed revisions to its Guides For The Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (the "Green Guides"), which provide guidance on environmental claims that businesses can make when they want to portray their products as eco-friendly or environmentally sustainable, and how marketers can avoid misleading consumers.
This latest update will be the first in over a decade, and puts a new emphasis on renewable energy and carbon offset claims. CRS counsel Robin Quarrier held two webinars explaining the changes to the guides and how they might impact companies participating in Green-e. Overall we are very supportive of the proposed update and find that it reinforces many of the consumer-protection practices required by Green-e certification. In some areas we suggest further consideration and clarification in response to the proposed revisions. [Read the full comments or a three-page summary]
Lead Staff: Robin Quarrier
Turn Your Search into a GoodSearch
GoodSearch is a search engine that donates 50 percent of its sponsored search revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. When you download and install the GoodSearch Toolbar (available on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox), CRS earns money every time you search on the internet, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated for free when you buy from over 1,000 online retailers, including Amazon, eBay, Target, Apple, Staples, and Expedia. In other words, stuff you do every day anyway. It only takes a minute to install the CRS GoodSearch toolbar, click here to install it now.
WEBINAR: GROWING UTILITY
GREEN PRICING PROGRAMS
A free webinar on developing, supplying, and marketing green pricing programs for commercial and residential customers
Join us in a free webinar on Wednesday, February 23rd on growing utility green pricing programs, including marketing and messaging to consumers, case studies from successful programs, purchasing trends, and overcoming hurdles to supply. Learn from four industry experts about these topics and much more:
- Growing demand for green electricity
- Methods of securing supply
- The pulse of the industry and consumer behavior
- How to successfully build a green pricing program
- Marketing strategy and materials used
- Case studies of successes and hurdles overcome
- Benefits and perspective of purchasers
||Growing Utility Green Pricing Programs
||Travis Anderton, Facilities Engineering Manager, Becton, Dickinson and Company
Lori Bird, Senior Energy Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Wilson Mallard, Green Energy Program Manager, Georgia Power
Steve Mudd, Product Manager, Xcel Energy
||Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at 11 am PDT/ 2 pm EDT (1 hour)
|| Register Now
Green-e Climate Endorses CAR Forestry
In December 2010, the Green-e Governance Board found versions 3.0 and later of the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) Forest Protocol to be consistent with the requirements and principles of the Green-e Climate Standard, and therefore projects registered under these versions of the CAR Forest Protocol are eligible to supply Green-e Climate Certified offsets. This is exciting news, since CAR has a strong reputation for protocol (and project) quality, and a significant proportion of the program's registered projects types are forestry. This will bring a large number of high-quality projects into eligibility with Green-e Climate, and we are pleased to begin certifying offset products that source from them. For more information, see Green-e Climate Endorsed Programs.
Take the 2011 Green-e Energy Survey
If you're a renewable energy investor or marketer, Green-e Energy needs 10 minutes of your time to help conduct a study on the role that voluntary renewable energy markets play in the investment in new renewable energy generation facilities in the U.S. Our goals are to provide information valuable to businesses and organizations involved in this sector and to support policy efforts to encourage renewable energy development.
Key to this research is a survey that should take about 10 minutes to complete, probably less. We ask that all surveys be completed by Monday, February 28.
Intern and Staff News
Congratulations to Todd Jones, who was recently promoted to Green-e Climate Manager. He now oversees Green-e Climate in its entirety, while also providing policy assistance and serving as our in-house carbon market expert.
At the end of 2010 Jennifer Martin took over as Executive Director of CRS. She comes to this position after a decade with the organization, having overseen the implementation of Green-e and serving in various capacities, including director of certification and verification and most recently deputy director. Jennifer is an energy expert, and extremely well respected in the industry for both her knowledge and the impressive record of success her strong leadership has enabled.
Tomo Sandeman is a recent graduate from Oxford University's Environmental Policy Master's course. Whilst his past working experiences include ecological surveying and site energy audits, Tomo hopes that the work he does at the Center for Resource Solutions will be the start of a career in renewable energy.
For the last two months, Franziska has been a volunteer researching ways Green-e can integrate with the European renewable energy market, and we are pleased that she has accepted an offer to be a Green-e Energy Associate and Representative for the Western States. Franziska has broad experience as a consultant for the private and public sector focused on sustainability challenges regarding the development and implementation of climate change policies and carbon strategies. She holds a B.Sc and M.Sc. Civil Engineering, with a focus on Energy and Environmental Management. She can be reached at franziska [at] resource-solutions.org.
Leuwam Tesfai is a second year law student at the University of San Francisco. Her areas of legal interest include clean technology, energy licensing and litigation and various areas of intellectual property. Originally from San Diego, she received her BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. This past summer she worked as a legal research intern at an environmental nonprofit, Restore Hetch Hetchy, conducting research in water recycling technology and federal licensing of hydroelectric facilities as well as drafting state water board petitions.
In January our renewable energy and carbon-market policy efforts were handed over to Jane Valentino, who has been part of the Green-e Climate certification program since its launch in 2008. As Policy Strategist, Jane is responsible for local and regional policy outreach and advocacy, and will be monitoring especially closely California's ongoing 33% RPS implementation and progress on the voluntary renewable energy set-aside under AB 32, which CRS was heavily involved in by organizing an impressive coalition of environmental and business groups in support of the measure.
Come Work With Us
Now Hiring: Green-e Marketplace Program Analyst
Center for Resource Solutions and Green-e Marketplace are seeking a full-time Green-e Marketplace Analyst to assist with program implementation and management. Green-e Marketplace is a unique certification program that recognizes organizations using certified renewable energy and enables them to demonstrate their environmental commitment through the use of the nationally recognized Green-e logo. CRS is located in the historic Presidio of San Francisco, CA.
This is a great opportunity for the right candidate to gain practical renewable energy, climate change, and corporate social responsibility experience. The Green-e Marketplace Analyst position is 40 hours a week, and will start in early 2011, as early as the Analyst is available. As both Green-e Marketplace and CRS's needs continually evolve, there is potential for growth within the position and organization. For the full description and to apply, see CRS Jobs.
Green-e Climate recently registered two new certified offset products. The first is 3Degrees' "U.S. Landfill Gas Carbon Offset" which sources exclusively from Climate Action Reserve landfill gas capture/combustion projects, specifically The Denton Landfill Gas Destruction Project, located in Denton, Texas. This marks the first use of a Climate Action Reserve project to supply a Green-e Climate certified offset product since the Program's endorsement last year. The second is the CarbonNeutral Company's "The CarbonNeutral Company Offset (China – Renewable Energy)" which sources exclusively from Gold Standard renewable energy projects, specifically The Gansu Anxi Wind Farm Project, located in Gansu province, China. This marks the first use of a Gold Standard project to supply a Green-e Climate certified offset project as well.
Green-e Climate will be updating its Code of Conduct as well as the Green-e Climate Standard during the first and second quarters of this year. Look for an updated Code of Conduct for participating sellers to arrive by the end of the quarter, with changes to take effect over the following year. Also look for announcements of open stakeholder comment periods for the update to the Green-e Climate Standard, after which comments will be compiled with staff recommendations for consideration by the Green-e Governance Board, which will ultimately vote on the updated standard.
Green-e Climate also continues to move forward with the update to the Green-e Climate Protocol for Renewable Energy, which began as scheduled last September. The Protocol for Renewable Energy Additionality Test Subcommittee has been working diligently with program staff as it carries out and presents new analysis and considers new data for the additionality test update. Once this work has been completed, the updated Protocol will be taken out for stakeholder review, and ultimately taken to the full Board for approval.
Green-e Climate has begun preparing for Verification of Reporting Year 2010 certified sales, with revised audit materials to be distributed by the end of this month, auditor and participant trainings in April, and audit submissions due by June.
Also look for the "Intro to Green-e Climate" Webinar on Thursday, March 10, at 12pm PST, with the new Green-e Climate Manager, Todd Jones. There will be two Intro to Green-e Climate webinars this year, if you'd like more information about them, be sure to sign up for updates here For the complete list of Webinars offered by CRS this year, check out CRS Events. [Learn more about Green-e Climate]
Welcome new Advisory Committee chairs. Paul MacGregor, of Nexant, and Adam Capage, who manages various utility partnerships at 3Degrees, have been elected to serve as the respective Chairs of the Power Marketers Advisory Committee and the Utility Green Pricing Advisory Committee. Thanks to both Adam and Paul, who will serve as the liaisons between the Green-e Energy participating sellers and the Green-e Governance Board when Green-e policy is discussed.
Verification of 2010 sales. Staff has begun to gather preliminary data on the volume of Green-e Energy Certified sales made in 2010. Reporting from sellers is due back in mid-February, and we will have rough totals soon after. [Learn more about Green-e Energy]
Puerto Rico Renewable Facilities Eligible. A section has recently been added to the Green-e Energy National Standard, clarifying that renewable electricity facilities in Puerto Rico are eligible to supply Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy products. In addition, minor clarifications have been made to the National Standard's rules regarding eligibility of Hawaiian renewable resources and the deadline for having contracts in place with renewable electricity facilities beyond the recently-adopted 15-year "new date" period of eligibility. All of these updates clarify existing rules or correct previous omissions. An updated National Standard and redline version of the changes are available at Green-e Energy National Standard and Governing Documents. [Learn more about Green-e Energy]
Green-e Marketplace Featured Company: Sustainable Sourcing. Melissa Kushi, founder of Sustainable Sourcing, has devoted herself to creating sustainable and ethical foods. As such, her company has made significant environmental commitments, including the purchase of renewable energy to cover 100% of the energy used to manufacture their company's HimalaSalt line of products. HimalaSalt clearly demonstrates its commitment to renewable energy through the use of the Green-e logo on all HimalaSalt packaging. In addition to their renewable energy commitment, HimalaSalt has received USDA Organic certification and contributes 5% of its profits to environmental causes. To learn more about Sustainable Sourcing and HimalaSalt, click here: www.himalasalt.com [Learn more about Sustainable Sourcing and HimalaSalt] [Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]
Development Spotlight: Karl Rabago. Karl has helped to shape CRS by his involvement on our board and the Green-e Governance Board for nearly a decade. Karl is currently vice president for distributed energy services with Austin Energy, the municipal electric utility for the City of Austin. At Austin Energy, Karl leads the utility's energy efficiency, green building, market research, key accounts, and advanced transportation groups. His past positions include Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy, and Commissioner with the Texas Public Utility Commission. He has some 20 years experience in electricity policy and regulation, emerging energy markets development, clean energy technology development, and the implementation of sustainability principles. He was a leader in the early development and shaping of the Green-e programs, and continues to provide support to the organization as its current Board chair and as an individual donor.
Welcome New Green-e Energy Participants
Welcome New Green-e Marketplace Participants
Association of Environmental Professionals 2011 State Conference
March 6–9, 2011. Monterey, CA. The AEP 2011 Conference will provide a venue for participants to gather together and learn from each other. Learn more.
RECs Market Meeting 2011. Renewable Energy: The Power of Transparency
March 30–31, 2011. Brussels, Belgium. Jennifer Martin will speak on the U.S. REC market. Learn more.
Navigating the American Carbon World 2011
April 13–15, 2011. Los Angeles, CA. Green-e Climate will have a booth. Learn more.
September 20–22, 2011. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C. Learn more.